Prepared Consumer Foods

The Prepared Consumer Foods sector has seen strong performance in recent years with the value of exports having grown by 40% since 2009.

High quality and traceable inputs for the Consumer Foods sector

Ireland has a strong agri-food base, producing high-quality natural products. A grass-based dairy and beef industry means the raw materials for Irish prepared food categories are of the highest quality. Ireland also has a strong reputation in farm-to-fork traceability for Irish agri-food products.

This category includes a wide range of primary products, which have been further processed, including ready-to-eat foods, confectionery and bakery products.

Key sub-sectors

Chocolate confectionery

Ireland has long heritage in chocolate manufacturing. The first Irish Cadbury plant was built in 1933. The availability of high-quality, grass-fed dairy as a raw material for the manufacture of chocolate products is a natural advantage for Ireland in this category.

Recent decades have seen the development of a number of strong premium chocolate brands from Ireland. Chocolate confectionery from Ireland is growing strongly following continued market diversification, evident over recent years in the US, Australia and the Middle East.


The global frozen prepared-food industry is experiencing strong growth. Significant growth is expected in emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, stemming from changing consumer landscapes, both in terms of the size of global markets and consumer lifestyles.

The UK remains Ireland’s largest market for frozen ready meals, however, the Irish sector has benefited from the emergence of new customers and new markets outside of the UK. Strongest growth was reported in the Netherlands, Scandinavia and, to a lesser extent, the Middle East.

Cooked meats

Along with the strength of the Irish meat sector, exports of cooked meats and meat ingredients continue to perform well, and benefit from a strong focus on innovation. Areas of innovation include:

-Temperature management
-PH controls
-Hanging methods
-Shelf life


Bakery products and snacks sales have been helped by a strong focus on NPD to develop products that meet consumer needs in relation to variety and health, including the burgeoning gluten-free market.

Case Studies

Mondelez International Logo


Mondelez International has a long-standing heritage in Ireland and employs a skilled team of more than 900 employees between its three Irish manufacturing sites in Coolock and Tallaght, in Co. Dublin, and Rathmore, Co.Kerry.

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